Anthony John "Tony" Soprano, Sr. is a fictional character and the protagonist on the HBO television drama series The Sopranos, on which he is portrayed by James Gandolfini. The character was conceived by The Sopranos ' creator and show runner David Chase, who was also largely responsible for the character's story arc throughout the show's six seasons. Bobby Boriello portrayed Tony Soprano as a child in one episode and Danny Petrillo played the character as a teenager in three episodes.
In the series, Tony is a capo in the DiMeo crime family at the beginning of the series; between the first and second seasons, he is promoted to acting boss, a title he retains for the remainder of the series (his uncle Corrado "Junior" Soprano is the official boss but has little or no actual power as such in the family). Throughout the series, Tony struggles to balance the conflicting requirements of his "two families": his actual family—wife Carmela, daughter Meadow and son Anthony "A.J." Soprano, Jr.—and the criminal organization he heads. He also struggles with depression and is prone to panic attack; because of this, he seeks treatment from Dr. Jennifer Melfi in the show's first episode, and remains in therapy for the majority of the series.
Tony was born on August 24, 1960, to Livia and "Johnny Boy" Soprano. He grew up living with his mother, father, and two sisters Janice and Barbara in the Ironbound in Newark, New Jersey. His father was always involved in crime and Tony recalls some of his activities in flashbacks on the show.
Young Tony has been portrayed by several actors. Bobby Boriello played Tony in the episode "Down Neck" in which Tony recalls many childhood events relating to his childhood realization that his father was involved in organized crime, including his recollection of father's relationship with his older sister, Janice, and his use of her as a cover for attending meetings with criminal associates at a children's amusement park. At the time, Tony thought Janice was his father's favorite child. In therapy, when asked to remember happy childhood memories about his mother, Tony struggled to come up with any, eventually recalling that he witnessed his father falling down the stairs, causing the whole family to laugh, even his mother; he later described his mother as a cruel, joyless woman who wore his father down "to a little nub". Tony also has a distant relationship with Janice because she is always asking him for money and once tried to sell Livia's house by herself. Tony also had to deal with her previous boyfriend Richie Aprile, after Janice killed him.
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